When you’re out and about seeing the world, you don’t always have the luxury of a mains electricity connection. Staying connected and charged up, whether it be for your mobile phone, laptop or tablet, is crucial in today’s day and age, but isn’t always easy when you’re not at home. If you travel on a little larger budget, charging up in a hotel is not an issue at all, but if you’re like many of us who are in a little tighter monetary situation, alternatives are definitely needed when it comes to keeping charged. On this page you’ll find some of the best ways that you can stay charged up in a wide selection of situations and environments. Let’s get started!
Power banks are perhaps the most non-risk portable power source when it comes to handheld devices. Working on the same storage principal as any kind of battery, power bank technology has vastly developed, making it one of the most reliable methods for keeping yourself charged up on the go. One of the key advantages that separates them from many of the other charger types, is that it is not weather dependant. Chargers that use renewable energy can often require external factors to power it, but with a power bank, your device will charge without external support, until it runs out of charge itself of course.
When buying your power bank you seriously need to focus on quality of the brand and the product. Generally the more you invest, especially with the more well known brands, the more capacity you’ll have for charging. You’ll also usually find that each power bank’s capacity will be marked in mAh (milliamp hour): the higher this amount, the more charge you’ll get out of it. The 20,000 mAh ‘ChargeUp ’ digital power bank, for example, will charge your smartphone 10 times and tablet twice, whereas the same company’s 6,000 mAh edition will only charge your smartphone 4 times.
The downside to power banks is that they take quite a long time to charge, more so the more capacity they have, so if yours runs out and you have no mains electricity connection nearby, you’re a bit stuck. So, if you’re deciding whether or not to buy a power pack for your trip, it really does depend on the nature of your travels. If you are going to stay in a hotel every few days, you’ll have absolutely no problem, but if you’re going to be going weeks without any electricity connection, this may not be for you.
Solar panel charger
Solar panels are perhaps the most developed of the alternative charging devices on the market. Using the extreme power of the sun, regardless of where you are in the world, you’ll be able to charge your devices on the go and without any reliance at all on mains electricity. Solar panels even charge your devices when the sky is overcast. So, what about when the sun goes in fully? Well, many solar powered chargers now have a battery pack function attached that enable you to store some energy for when you don’t have sunlight, thus making you completely independent from the mains. The main issue associated with solar panels at present is that the panels themselves are not that efficient as of yet, meaning if you want a really good, high quality panel charger, it’s probably going to cost you more than a standard power bank would. The edge that solar panel chargers have on power packs is that even if you were trekking through mountains for a week, you’d never be without power; however, they most likely aren’t going to charge you up as quick as a power bank would, as it works on an instant, live power basis.
In theory, using force and physical movement to power our devices is a great idea; however, it is still a relatively new concept for the commercial markets, meaning we’re very much still in the early stages of its development. That said, there are many customers that have purchased some of the available products that are extremely happy with the results. This kind of charger is only really useful if you are going to be going on a very active trip. If you plan on laying on the beach all day every day, this is definitely not the one for you. If you are going to be hiking, cycling, running, climbing or any other innately physical activity, then you may want to give one of these chargers a try.
City charging points
Alternative to actually purchasing a charging device, there is always the option of putting your phone in a charging locker, which will charge your phone for a couple of pounds or the equivalent currency. This may be a bit pointless if you’re in the middle of a city in which you’re already booked in a hotel or equivalent situation; however, if you are in a desperate scenario where you need to have your phone charged, this could be the way forward. If you still have some charge left on your phone, performing a quick Google search such as “phone charging point in [x city]” or “phone charging point near me” should bring up the relevant information to point you in the right direction. If you have run out of power already, then heading to the nearest shopping centre will probably be your best option, as this is where a large majority of them are located anyway.